Technology and Art: Selfie vs. Story

As a 30-year-old in the new digital age, I still remember not knowing how to type, only having one computer in the library, the Oregon Trail, my first Nokia Green Screen cell phone (that I had from the age of 16 till Sophomore year in college) and that dial-up sound and how nervous and excited you were at the phrase, “You’ve Got Mail”.

Art has always been important to society. Art tells our stories from people gifted enough to be able to focus their perspective into learned trade skills and communicative skills. What happens when technology flourishes quicker than we can teach? What becomes of a skill that has been dwindled down to free app from from someone who is the most skilled at it themselves?

I need to learn how to write code. I’m beginning to believe that it is actually the second language that is most important in the United States, and in the world. I only say the United States because we are notoriously unilingual. If I can function around the internet and create my own content, I will be able to begin the pathway to the communicative force I can be, on my own terms. This is important for any artist in this day and age. We cannot be one-sided, we must be able to be our own brand, our own company, singularly, until we can afford the help from true professionals. But it doesn’t hurt to know enough about something to be able to hire someone who you KNOW knows what they are doing.

In any case, looking at the book cover, the cd cover, magazine cover-anything in print, I see that pictures have always been important in our society. Reading this article, the Russian Graphic Designer, El Lissitzky believed that using images to communicate is invaluable in a country where many are illiterate. He used images to communicate in simple, easy yet bold ways. Now, as a whole, we are more and more self involved. Selfies, have engulfed those with a front facing camera. Where are the images that help us understand what that person is going through, or what that society is going through? Can we survive in a world where people want to take pictures of themselves and yet worry about themselves without presenting the problems they face? We are trying to cover up shit with glitter and call it fashion.

Can you tell I’m a bit worried? I know things will work out, but I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to make that happen. I don’t want to sit back and put it on someone else’s shoulders when we can all lend a hand in the advancement of ourselves as a collective society.

What are your thoughts about technology, art and society as a whole?

JB

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